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Saturday, May 24, 2008

REVIEW of Canfora, Il papiro di Artemidoro

Forging ahead
Peter Parsons

Has Simonides struck again?
In 2006 there went on show in Turin a fragmentary papyrus book-roll, nearly thirteen inches tall and over eight feet long, datable from its script to the later first century bc. On the front it carries a Greek text: a proem which dilates on the intellectual status of geography (two columns); then a wide space which contains the remains of a detailed map (without place-names); then the introduction to a geography of Spain (two columns), of which part coincides with a passage quoted elsewhere as from Book II of the long-lost Geographical Descriptions by Artemidorus of Ephesus (c100 bc). The wide left hand margin, and a long blank at the end, are occupied by some twenty drawings -heads, feet, hands. The back (which in a normal book-roll remains blank) shows some forty small drawings of birds, fish and animals, real and fabulous, with names attached. Photographs can be seen in the sumptuous catalogue, Le tre vite del papiro di Artemidoro (noticed with the exhibition in the TLS of March 8, 2006)/

etc at TLS
I apologize for the tardy notice of this review (February 22, 2008!).